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The give and take of data collection: what to consider

by Rasmus Engelbrecht Sorensen

April 29, 2021

The average consumer is tired of sharing their personal information and sees it as a necessary evil, according to the IAB. What if there’s another way — that rather than brands asking for information straight away, first they offer a fun and compelling experience?

That’s the way forward as we see it: that there’s a give and take between brands and their audience(s), and that's the way that businesses collect data evolves, the ones who have already established a positive relationship with their audience will be hard to catch.

As the third-party cookie crumbles

The fall of third-party cookies will leave some marketers in the dark if they don’t have a plan. Every day, first-party data becomes more and more valuable, and in the near future, technology companies will be required to have users’ explicit permission to use their data. This will make it crucial for marketers to earn these insights themselves.

There’s an increasing demand for marketers to be more transparent with data collection, and it’s a demand that their audiences are making. It’s more than just recent moves by big tech names like Google and new legislations like EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Rather it’s a consequence of an increasing demand from consumers to have more control over the data generated from their digital interactions and brand engagements.

Moving forward with trust and transparency

According to a study by the IAB, 85% of global consumers say they wish “there were more companies I could trust with my data.” This is an opportunity for marketers to acknowledge that they have to earn the consumers’ data through trust and engaging interactions while being transparent about how they are using the data and in particular how that benefits the consumer.

This shift in the way marketers collect and use data is not only inevitable, it is also a unique opportunity for companies to build even stronger relationships to their customers by continuously learning more about them and using those insights to provide better and more personalized experiences. There will be winners and losers once the loss of third-party cookies takes effect — those in the lead will be the ones creating experiences and value that is worthy of their audiences’ time.

A subconscious process: the privacy calculus

Each time consumers are asked to provide their personal information, they go through an automatic decision about whether the cost is worth the benefit. On one hand, they have the benefits of entertainment, personal relevance, or possibly some kind of financial incentive, but there’s also the ‘cost’ of perceived intrusiveness, privacy loss, and data entry. Marketers must maximise the net benefit for the customer, by increasing said benefits and bringing down the costs.

Studies have shown that highly engaged and emotionally connected customers are more likely to interact with brands, have more trust in them, and are more likely to share their data with them. An alternative to traditional push marketing is gamification, which uses game mechanics to create a fun and engaging experience. By harnessing gamification’s power, brands can make their marketing more appealing, effective, and is a way to cut through the traditional marketing noise.

Leadfamly customers have found neat and novel ways of collecting highly valuable data on consumers like demographics and preferences. They provide an enjoyable experience which facilitates trust and goodwill, and at the same time, they are able to capture data. That way, the user feels like the benefits they get far outweighs the cost of sharing their personal information.

In a cross-campaign study I conducted on a selection of customers, players actually had a significantly higher likelihood of entering brands permission programs when they had played a game prior to being faced with a registration form. What this means is that, presumably, these individuals felt a connection to the brand, and hence were more likely to respond to the brand’s ask.

While gamified experiences may be just one tool marketers use in their marketing, it is a key way to gather first-party data in the cookieless future we are approaching. It is a tried and tested way to get and grow customer data, and it creates a consumer-brand relationship based on trust and positive value exchanges. Extra credit will go to the brands that put their consumer first, which means using innovative data collection where there’s always a give before an ask.


PANSARI, A. & KUMAR, V. 2017. Customer engagement: the construct, antecedents, and consequences. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45, 294-311.

GOH, K.-Y. & PING, J. W. 2014. Engaging consumers with advergames: An experimental evaluation of interactivity, fit and expectancy. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 15, 2.



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